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Neck Deep in Schiit: Gungir Balanced DAC and Mjolnir Balanced Amp Announced! - Page 2

post #16 of 306
Thread Starter 

I think Maxvla pretty much covered it, but here are some additional comments.

 

Originally Posted by Asr View Post

The new products look really interesting. I'll probably be the only one to say it, but their price points seem low to me for balanced components - I'd be a little less wary if they were each ~$1K (or more).

 

I have a few questions if you wouldn't mind answering:

1 - Does the Mjolnir amp come with a visually-matching PSU? If not, why not?

 

If 70,000uF of filter capacitance, 8 separate power supplies, and over 100VA of transformers isn't enough for an 8W amp, I don't know what is.

 

2 - Does the Gungnir DAC offer any significant advancements over the Bifrost (i.e., to make it sound better), aside from being balanced?

 

Yes. Adapticlock (Bifrost does not use clock regeneration, simply tweaks on the receiver), and a completely different discrete output stage with much higher performance. 

 

3 - Why should someone choose the Gungnir over one of the other popular ~$1.5K balanced DACs currently on the market (like the Wyred4Sound DAC-2 and Anedio D2, for example, also made in the USA btw)? (Ignoring price which is an obvious reason.)

 

We don't comment on competitive products, ever, in public or private.

 

4 - Will pics of the back panels of both pieces be available later?

 

Yep, when we get the final metal. These are just renderings. It should be pretty obvious what's on the back panels from the specifications, as well as gray powder-coat and white silkscreen.

 

5 - Not that you have to answer this one, but if the Mjolnir and Gungnir both seem cheap to someone for what they are, what would you say to persuade that person that they aren't cheap and represent something new & unique? And will the "statement" amp & DAC have a true "cost no object, maximum sound quality" approach?

 

We don't do a hard sell. If you like it, cool. If you judge gear solely by price tag, you probably won't like our stuff. Even though the statement stuff will redefine everything, and will have technology not available elsewhere, at any price.

 

No offense intended here but I owned the Asgard and Lyr and wasn't really impressed with either of them. So what I'd like to know is, do you think the Mjolnir/Gungnir would be more up the alley of someone like me, or would you recommend waiting for the future statement products? I don't intend to be critical - I want to hear your marketing spiel for, let's say, high-end audiophiles. wink.gif

 

I think our press release, product description, and FAQ say it all.



 

post #17 of 306
That is some seriously great looking gear. Seeing that has renewed my energy to wait out for the statement gear.

Interesting to see the change from ES9018 chips to the AKM. Must be getting some great results from the AKM.

I am so tempted to get the intermediate gear to help wait out the time but that is what I said about the Bifrost and I know that I don't want to sell that baby.

Great work Jason.
post #18 of 306

Hmm, not really interested in the DAC, but this amp does look interesting!  

 

And if I'm not mistaken, that's Lee Shelley photography on the low end units; looking forward to more of his work on the new gear.

post #19 of 306

Jason, will the DAC get and clock at any sampling frequency - 44.1, 48, 88.2, 96, 176.4, 192 - both via SPDIF and USB?

post #20 of 306
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Edoardo View Post

Jason, will the DAC get and clock at any sampling frequency - 44.1, 48, 88.2, 96, 176.4, 192 - both via SPDIF and USB?



Yes, with the exception of 176.4 over USB--a limitation of the C-Media receiver. But yep, we have separate VCXOs and VCOs for both 44.1 and 48k multiples. 

post #21 of 306

Finally some updates!

 

The Gungir DAC has my interest..we need some early review samples to see how it stacks up against the competition!

post #22 of 306
Sigh, August for the Gungnir, looks like my statement DAC is a long way off frown.gif
post #23 of 306
Quote:
Originally Posted by dyl1dyl View Post

Sigh, August for the Gungnir, looks like my statement DAC is a long way off frown.gif

Yeah sad.gif
post #24 of 306
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dyl1dyl View Post

Sigh, August for the Gungnir, looks like my statement DAC is a long way off frown.gif


May be sooner than you think . . . we're no longer trying to reinvent our internal processes, and engineering is moving much faster now. 

 

post #25 of 306
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason Stoddard View Post



Yes, with the exception of 176.4 over USB--a limitation of the C-Media receiver. But yep, we have separate VCXOs and VCOs for both 44.1 and 48k multiples. 

That's what I wanted to read... Separate 44.1- 48 clocks ... FET out stages. Already at this price. Simply astonishing. I'm waiting for the statement couple. wink.gif congrats for the enterprise wink.gif
post #26 of 306
Since Jason is shy about this, I'll dare to remind that until a few hours ago the handful of cyclotronic push pull (or however you call it) speaker amps ever built were known only to few uber-audiophiles, and even less people could afford them. SS cyclotronic did not even exist if I'm correct, as they were intended to mitigate tube distortions.

Of course I'm speaking about how they are made and not about they sound... But... Hell, I thought a 10.000$ ferrari would have been more likely to come first.
post #27 of 306
http://circlotron.tripod.com/

Hope it's accurate.
Quote:
The Circlotron topology provides several advantages: (tube based amps, Schiit's are SS)

The output transformer primary needs only half as many turns as a conventional push-pull design; this reduces parasitic capacitance and improves output transformer performance.

The output impedance is lower than a conventional tube amplifier. For output impedance derivations see Pascal Sternis page and Tube Lovers Anonymous. Because of the low output impedance, several modern output transformerless vacuum tube amplifiers use the Circlotron topology.

To quote from the original EV A30 data sheet:

"No output tube DC in transformer... DC output current is removed from the output transformer through the use of a bridge circuit. All switching transients are eliminated through unity coupling of output tubes; class AB1 operation is effected with the resultant improvements in power output, efficiency and tube life. The primary impedance of the output transformer is one quarter of that found in conventional amplifier output circuits, affording a vast increase in power output at extremes of the frequency spectrum."

Edited by Maxvla - 3/29/12 at 5:50pm
post #28 of 306
Thread Starter 

We don't comment on other designs, but here are some other companies using Circlotron-style output stages:

 

Atma-Sphere http://www.atma-sphere.com/

Thorens (TEM3200) http://www.thorens.com/electronics/amplifiers/tem-3200.html (supposedly "the world's best power amplifier" according to Stereoplay Magazine)

 

The Sumo Nine and Nine Plus were also circlotrons (but WAY different than Mjolnir, since they used op-amp voltage gain and had a patented biasing/current limiting scheme.)

 

Most of my work at Sumo was in balanced amps. I've done all the flavors: two separate gain stages with one run inverted, common balanced front end and separate output stages for positive and negative phases, true cross-shunt push-pull circlotrons. I've always loved the elegance of the circlotron designs, which trade off output stage complexity for power supply complexity. Consider that we need four separate non-ground-referenced power supplies just for the output stage, as well as separate high-voltage supplies for the JFET front end--most of Mjolnir's work is in the power supply, and the (as far as we know) unique DC servo arrangement that keeps the output stage in balance. It's been a heckuva development cycle to get it right, and it's (really) not like anything else out there.

 

 

post #29 of 306
Now I know where your monolithic face'plate' inspiration came from. Btw, look at how GOOD that black looks, Jason. wink.gif

InnovativeAudioJan222011063.jpg
post #30 of 306

gs1000.gif


Edited by Greg121986 - 3/29/12 at 6:54pm
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Head-Fi.org › Forums › Sponsor Announcements and Deals › Neck Deep in Schiit: Gungir Balanced DAC and Mjolnir Balanced Amp Announced!